Wednesday, March 3, 2010

On Winter Travel to Mexico

As every good Midwesterner knows, there comes a time in February when we to ourselves "Why didn't I plan a vacation to somewhere warm?" This is particularly the case in Chicago as winters can linger and the grey can nearly do us in. Most of us try to wear it as some sort of badge of honor when spring arrives. We made it through a situation quite so dreadful, only slightly worse for the wear, but deep inside we don't really want to do it again.

This year I decided not to do it again. In fact, I decided in October I wasn't going to do it again and so I planned my warm weather winter getaway. The location was unknown, but upon a conversation with my friend Tim, I was reminded that Mexico can be a reasonable getaway and come February the weather would be just right. I managed to talk him into embarking on the trip with me even though his San Franciscan weather, although wet, is a bit less ragged. We purchased our tickets, we made our plans and waited for the time to arrive.

February 6, 2010 we met up on the horror that is Cancun airport, picked up our rental car and took off to what would be a new favorite location, Tulum, Mexico. I'm not going to rehash the details of the trip because for the most part they involved eating, drinking and beach time, but I will say it has significantly enhanced my Chicago winter experience. The one bit of travel away from the beach that made the trip of cultural significance was some time spent in the Mayan ruins of Coba and in the colonial town of Villadolid. Both were beautiful and like no where I'd been before.

Oh, did I mention how good the food was? A vegetarian in Mexico is a happy eater.

Of course we'd all like to go to warm places during cold months, but might I propose that it is necessary. Well, I'll say this: Vacation (holiday?) is necessary. I live in a world where vacation isn't necessary encouraged. I think that comes a little bit from my guilty protestant upbringing, but personally, there is often a bit hesitation in vacation in that it is some sort of bourgeois extravagance. Having fully engaged and invested in my most recent getaway I'll profess that I believe it to be a necessary bourgeois extravagance that I hope to partake in each winter if possible.

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